Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel

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Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel

A bit dated(Originally published: 1924 ) but free to read online. Let us remember slavery is behind the curtain and concentrate on this article/book.
Also beware of biases because the financial/industral North won the Civil War.

Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861 Emphasis mine.
Preface
The object of this monograph is to attempt to evaluate some of the causes for the secession of our Southern states which, to me, seem generally to have been underestimated. Lack of time has prevented the utilization of much available newspaper, pamphlet, and manuscript material of considerable value; but great confidence is felt that the evidence is typical, if not exhaustive. The work deals with matters which even today in a measure arouse the passions or prejudices of men; the greatest effort has been made, therefore, to preserve a detached point of view. A better contemporary understanding of the economic relations of the sections before 1861 might have moderated the bitterness of the sectional controversy; a better understanding of them even now would soften its memories.​
Introduction. P10

The most significant fact of American history from about 1820 to 1875, at least, was sectionalism. The section which was at all times most clearly defined was the South. The term South, however, did not have the same connotation at all times and to all men. Until about 1845 the term South was commonly applied only to the South Atlantic states. The states of the lower Mississippi valley were gradually brought under the term as their economic and social organization and general conditions approximated those in the old South and differentiated from those of the states of the upper part of the valley, for Southern sectionalism had bases in several distinctive features besides latitude.​
Get this out of the way

Foremost of these was the existence of slavery.​
P11

There was basis for sectionalism, also, in divergent economic interests and conditions. To what extent the divergence was due to geography, to what extent due to other factors, including social organization, it is not necessary here to inquire. The Southern states, however, were engaged largely in the production of a few great staples cotton, tobacco, and sugar not produced in other states of the Union. Of these staples only a small proportion was consumed at home; much the greater part was exported either to the North or to Europe. The portion exported abroad constituted considerably more than half the nation's total exports. Manufacturing and mining had made, and were making during the period under survey, little progress in the South compared with the same industries in other sections; the exports of the South were exchanged in part for agricultural products of the West but chiefly for manufactured goods of the East or Europe. The ocean commerce of the South, whether coastwise or foreign, was carried almost altogether in Northern or European vessels; foreign goods for Southern consumption came largely by way of Northern ports. Only a small percentage of the Southern population was urban; the cities and towns of the section were few and small compared with those of the East or even those of the growing Northwest. The banking capital of the country was largely concentrated in the East; the South was not financially independent.
P12-13

Divergent economic interests of the sections led to the advocacy of different policies, on the part of the Federal government, as regards tariff, taxation, navigation laws, and the amount and objects of government expenditures. The disparity of the sections in industry and commerce was to many Southerners evidence of lack of prosperity in the South commensurate with that of the North, and, consequently, was a cause of dissatisfaction, and was galling to Southern pride. The causes of Southern "decline" were sought for; it was variously attributed to geography and climate, qualities of the people, misdirection of private enterprise, mistaken policies of the state and local governments, and the unequal operation of the Federal government, but not, generally, to slavery. Remedies were proposed, corresponding roughly to the causes, as analyzed.​
The article says it will look at Southern opinion and how divergent economic interest and conditions drove Southern secetionism.

It is the purpose of this study to attempt to discover to what extent Southern sectionalism had its basis in divergent economic interests and conditions. The study is primarily a study of public opinion. It will require an examination of the opinions of Southern men as to the divergence of economic interests and the extent of the disparity of economic development in the sections, the causes of such disparity, and the proper remedies therefor. Actual economic conditions and changes will be described and explained only in so far as such description and explanation are essential to an understanding of Southern public opinion. It is hoped, however, that incidentally some additional light may be thrown upon the economic status of the antebellum South, and that some conclusions may be drawn as to the justification for Southern discontent.​

 
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